Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The $15 Complete Beauty Treatment

I've been to more Mary Kay parties than I can count.  I've done Aveda classes to learn about the best skin treatments for my face.  I've used every brand known to man.  Yet, I have a beauty regiment that only costs you $15 and the different products will last for a month or more.

I always get complimented for my young-looking complexion.  I really have to thank my Mom and Dad for great genes.  My Mom had a wonderfully smooth skin texture and I inherited that smoothness.  My Dad had Cherokee Indian blood in him that I inherited and he looked extremely young for his age.  His older sister, my Aunt Goldie, looks about 70 and she's 93.  So most of the credit goes to God for allowing me to come from a great gene pool.  But, if you are looking for a simple, gentle way to cleanse and moisturize your face for a mere $15, you're about to find out.

Follow along for your frugal path to facial freedom...

Step 1 - Product: Huggies Cucumber Green Tea Baby Wipes
Though used for babies, these wipes are gentle and refreshing due to their ingredients.  They are also superb for travel as well.  Use these to remove eye makeup and to prep your face for cleansing.  

Step 2 - Product:  Pond's Cold Cream
This cold cream has been around since the late 1800s (yep you read that right), and it has worked for over 100 years to clean the face of many a woman.  Once you've prepped with your Huggies Wipe, use the cold cream to deep cleanse your face. 

Step 3 - Product:  Curel Moisturizing Lotion
Of all the moisturizers on the market, Curel is by far my favorite.  It's like the Dove of lotions.  It's gentle enough for your face, yet strong enough to moisturize any part of your body.  After the cold cream cleanse, apply the moisturizing lotion to your face. 

That's it!  Three steps, $15.  Simple and effective.  And, you're welcome.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best Wedding Dance Ever

Turn on any news or entertainment show and you'll see the latest wedding dance video going viral on the internet.  This video of a Mother and Son dance is by far my favorite....and probably partly because I know and love this family.  Pippa (the Mom) is the daughter of two of the sweetest people I knew before they went on to their home in Heaven.  They were great friends of my parents and there is something quite comforting knowing all four are now there together having an amazing time.  Pete (the Son) I've know since he was little and is handsome and smart all in the same package.  I'm besties with his sister, Amy, and adore all his other siblings as well.  The family has a love and unity that the world needs more of...and when you watch this dance, you'll see the joy this family has.  They could write a book on 'How to deal when tragedy strikes' but you'd never know it.  Good people. Comfort people.  Love these people.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Make Way for Geese

I work in an area of town where the Canadian Geese reside.  There are a lot of little lakes and water sources that draw those flying birds to the area.  I've worked in this area for the last 10 years or so and have had a lot of time to observe their behavior.

At one place of employment, we had a lake behind our building.  In front of our building was a circular drive with a large grassy area that housed our flagpoles.  It was there that our geese family resided when it was time to nest in the Spring to welcome in the new gaggle of goslings.  This was exciting and dangerous all at the same time.  Exciting because we got to witness the Momma Goose as she trained her little geese, but dangerous prior to their appearance.  The Poppa Goose would stand guard around that circular drive to ward off anyone who appeared to be a threat to his family.  Of course we were just trying to enter the door to go to work.  I dreaded dodging Poppa Goose everyday, but knew once the babies arrived, things would be better.

Needless to say, over the years, I've learned to co-habitate with these creatures.  And I've learned to appreciate them as well and be respectful when they slowly cross the street or protect their unborn little ones.

The other day I was leaving work and driving down the street where my company is located.  Very often, there are times when you have to stop and allow the geese to cross.  I presume the 25 mph speed limit on this road is partially due to the amount of geese-crossing events that occur.  I saw about 12 geese in the median and slowly making their way to cross the street so I slowed down.  There is something peaceful about letting geese take their own sweet time in crossing the street.  They have not a care in the world.  God provides for all their needs, so they just enjoy life.

As I was sitting there taking in the awesomeness of God's creatures, I realized two geese were slowly making their move.  They were still munching on the grass but realized the rest of their group had moved on.  I knew they'd be making their move to the street, so I waited, knowing if I didn't I might accidentally hit one.  In the lane next to me, those vehicles weren't as patient.  Once the first 10 crossed, the truck moved on, and then, just as the two slow geese started across the road, the car in that lane sped around at a fast speed to get on with his busy life (whatever) before those geese slowed him down.  As I watched this unfold, even I was startled, but those two geese were very startled.  I saw them abruptly stop and the poor things did the equivalent of "peeing in your pants" right in the street.  It made me want to go slug that driver.

Now, I'm not one of those tree huggers or people who care more about animals than humans, but this event taught me a lesson.  We are way too busy for our own good.  I would bet that most accidents happen because people are impatient and self-focused.  I'm certainly guilty of driving too fast and being in a hurry when just a few minutes wouldn't make a huge difference.  It's funny how witnessing two laid-back geese almost get side-swiped was revolutionary for me.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Minutes: Broken

Each week Gypsy Mama chooses a word to write about for five minutes. No editing, stream of consciousness. Today's word is: Broken.

Ready. Set. Write.

My laptop just celebrated it's fifth birthday, which is ancient for a Windows laptop.  After the acquisition of my iPad last Fall, my laptop has been used very little, so having a soon-to-be obsolete laptop wasn't that distressing....until I started school July 1.  

In my MBA program, I have to submit assignments online and although the internet surfing still works (albeit via Safari on a Windows system), using the Office applications and even the USB port is troublesome.  It's broken and I'm in denial.  Microsoft Word crashes every time I save a document...and the other night it simply locked up my laptop to the point of restart.  Even the USB port is getting persnickety.  I save all my work on a flash drive (for the reasons stated earlier) yet even the ports are broken and tired.  My cheap self now needs to invest in a laptop so I can be equipped for this journey of school.

Silly me grieves over broken things like this.  I bought this laptop soon after I bought my last car, Bluebelle, which I love.  It was a tough purchase because it seemed everything was broken and needed replacing.  Now, my car is going strong, and my laptop needs to be put to rest.  Nothing I can do can fix the broken.

I'm so thankful that I can come to my Creator broken and know that He won't give up on me.  I may be broken, battered, scarred and discouraged, but He makes all things new.  When I crash, He protects me.  When I lock up, He surrounds me with his arms and I relax in the comfort of His Love.  And when I simply can't plug in to be recharged, His Holy Spirit intercedes for me in ways and words I can't express.  

Being broken doesn't mean I'm banished.  I'm loved. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Tale of Two Losses

His name was Bill.  On July 13, he woke up preparing to head off for a family vacation and took a bike ride in the early morning prior to departure.  Before he made it home, he collapsed on his bike of heart complications and died.  

Dr. Bill Cutrer was a physician on campus at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He began his career as an OBGYN and followed after serving as a pastor.  A doctor for the body and the soul.  He previously was Director of A Woman's Choice Pregnancy Center in Louisville, where women came contemplating aborting their unborn children.  He was pivotal in bringing the 4D ultrasound to that clinic and there are countless people alive today, I'm sure, because Dr. Cutrer was able to express to their Mothers the importance and value of every human life.  He also was an advocate of the sanctity of marriage.  Many a couple testified that the counsel they received from Dr. Cutrer, whether on marriage or fertility - will ever be grateful for his impact on their lives and marriage.

Dr. Cutrer's love of Jesus and obedience in following Him will leave a legacy that will forever be felt for generations to come.  The world has lost a great and godly man.  

His name was Cory.  On July 13, he was found dead in his Vancouver, Canada, hotel room of an apparent overdose - heroin and alcohol.  He was 31 years old.

Cory Monteith's parents divorced when he was 7 years old and at age 13 he began using marijuana and alcohol.  After attending many truancy schools and never graduating high school, his Mom and friends had an intervention at age 19 and got him to rehab.  Finally in 2011, he received his high school diploma.  His big break came in 2009 when he was cast as football player, Finn Hudson, on Glee.  Even this success didn't stop Cory's struggle with addiction.  He had continually been in and out of rehab, leaving for his final time in May.  Along the way, his on-screen and off-screen girlfriend, Lea Michele, stood by his side committed to see him through.  

Cory appeared on Inside the Actors' Studio in 2012 where James Lipton posed this question to him, "What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?" Cory's response was, "Uh, sorry I haven't been around.  There's a good explanation."

There appears to be no evidence of a love for or following of Christ.  Cory's life seems absent of the hope of eternal life with Jesus by his actions and words.  The world has lost a Hollywood star that's life was replete with addiction, brokenness and hopelessness.  

The loss of these two men cause me to's the best of griefs and the worst of griefs.  One man I grieve, not for him, for I have no doubt Dr. Cutrer is celebrating at the feet of Jesus.  But I grieve for the loss his family experiences, and the loss our world experiences of such a great man of God.  One man I grieve, also for the loss his family and friends experience, but also that he is most likely not at the feet of Jesus and his suffering of this world is minimal compared to what he may be experiencing at this moment.  

Two men.  Two lives lived.  Two lives lost.  Two types of grief.